Wondering how the pros train? Want to know which exercises rank in as their favorite go-to supersets? We asked a few of the fittest MuscleTech athletes what they'd select as their top-ranking pair.
But first, why do people use supersets in the first place?
A superset is an advanced training technique in which you perform one exercise immediately after another, then rest once both are completed.
Why organize your workout this way?
- Supersets generate a higher overall fatigue response by training your body to continue working even though you feel exhausted.
- Supersets provide better metabolic benefits since they push you to get more work done in less time, in the process elevating your calorie burn rate.
- Depending on the nature of the exercises, supersetting can elevate your heart rate, too, and deliver big cardiovascular benefits.
- Supersetting can also help you achieve killer muscle pumps. Pair opposing muscle groups and watch how full and vascular those muscles get.
Remember though: form is key. Don't ever let your form start slipping because you're fatigued.
Now let's hear what our MuscleTech experts have to say on the matter.
Santi Aragon: IFBB Pro, MusleTech Athlete
"Hands down, I like to superset biceps and triceps," says Santi Aragon.
"I superset these two muscle groups for the entire duration of my arm workout. I'll typically do one biceps movement followed by a triceps movement, completing 3-4 sets of each."
Aragon usually puts together two supersets for each arm workout, and he keeps the rep ranges high.
"I'll aim for about 15 reps for each superset," he says, "and I always make sure my form stays intact."
Aragon also keeps his rest periods short, adding: "I'll rest for about a minute between sets. These are small muscle groups that you'll be working in isolation, so there's no need for lengthy rest periods between sets."
Abel Albonetti: Fitness Model, MusleTech Athlete
Abel Albonetti is with Aragon on this one. He loves his arm pairing, as do many pros.
"I pretty much always utilize supersets when doing arms," Albonetti says. "I probably use supersets for at least 85 percent of my arm workout."
Albonetti likes to perform 4-5 sets of 10-12 reps for each exercise. "I'll take around 60 seconds of rest between each pairing," he says, noting that superset training is meant to be more intense. Taking long rest periods would defeat the whole purpose of supersetting.
His go-to combo? "My favorite arm superset would have to be barbell curls with barbell skullcrushers," he says.
As Albonetti says, mix it up as you choose your superset exercises. Don't be afraid to add some machine exercises, too.
Ryan Kurek: Fitness Model, MuscleTech Athlete
When it comes to supersets, don't be afraid to superset two exercises for the same muscle group, says Ryan Kurek.
"Preacher-to-hammer curl supersets have always been my thing," he says, "especially since they build incredible grip strength and assist with wrist development."
Sometimes a superset can be as simple as the same exercise done with two different grips. If you are supersetting like this, just keep in mind that you may have to decrease weight and possibly total reps when you do the second exercise.
With this kind of superset, you're almost combining a superset with a dropset because you aren't giving the muscle any breaks between exercises. With an opposing muscle pairing, one muscle can rest while the other one works.
Same-muscle-group supersets are a fantastic way to finish a muscle off at the end of a workout session.
Dylan Thomas: Lifestyle Transformation Coach, MuscleTech Athlete
Going against the norm, arms aren't doing it for Dylan Thomas when it comes to superset pairings. Instead, he's all about pairing chest and back.
"I really enjoy putting together wide-grip weighted pull-ups with an incline press," he noted.
It's a novel superset, but it's still following a popular trend of pairing opposing muscle groups. Thomas is hitting chest along with back—and doing it by using major compound lifts to raise his heart rate a little bit more. This results in a stronger metabolic response, which improves endurance and burns more body fat.